Charlie's Produce Shares Yumi Brand Insights; John Janker, Catalino ‘Tito’ Martinez, Laura Severance, and Lawrence Henrard Comment
BAKERSFIELD, CA - As the temperatures rise here in the Northern Hemisphere, so too does consumer demand for watermelon, considered a classic summer staple. Perusing the aisles, one melon that is sure to catch shoppers’ eyes is Charlie’s Produce’s Yumi brand black seedless watermelon.
“We’ve partnered with Val-Mar farms in Bakersfield and they’ve done a great job for us, growing this product and helping get these melons to market,” explains John Janker, Senior Vice President of Procurement at Charlie’s Produce.
Passionate about producing Yumi black seedless watermelons, those at Val-Mar are proud partners of Charlie’s Produce and are looking forward to many more years of development and evolution of the brand.
“We like working for Charlie’s Produce because they’re able to give us a price point in which we can sustain and grow from year in, year out into the future, because we love growing these watermelons,” says Catalino 'Tito' Martinez, Val-Mar Farms’ President of Farming Operation. “They’re beautiful melons, and we’re looking into the future to be a part of this program and be partnered with Charlie’s Produce.”
The Yumi brand was started back in 2020 and is now in its third year.
To continue drawing consumers to its offerings, Charlie’s has created enticing display pieces and packaging to help retailers merchandise.
“Yumi means abundant beauty in Japanese,” Laura Severance, Charlie’s Produce Marketing Manager imparts. “Retailers receive a beautiful, high-end graphic bin that really entices customers to check out and see what this is.”
With the success that the company has experienced with its black seedless watermelon, Charlie’s is expanding the brand with its new strawberries.
Eventually, the supplier also wants to roll out blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries under the Yumi brand as well
"John Janker and I have been working on putting together a berry growing program. I got to know the Ramirez family and through relationships, we decided to put a 30-acre strawberry growing venture together,” says Lawrence Henrard, General Manager of Coke Farm. “The region in which we’re growing these beautiful strawberries is the Fuji ranch location, and it provides the most ideal growing conditions from an overall climate perspective.”
With its sights set on growth, what will come next for Charlie’s Produce and its Yumi brand? Watch the video above to find out.